How to Stay on Budget this Holiday Season

The holiday season can compel you to go a little overboard on your budget for the year. But that doesn’t mean you cannot go through it without spending a little on presents and parties. So let’s take some stress off your shoulders and get you into the holiday spirit. Here are some tips on how to stick to your pre-planned budget and possibly cut back on some frivolous spending.

Make a realistic budget and be adamant about sticking to it!

Be honest with yourself while making your budget. Be true to yourself on how much you can possibly spend. Ensure every stretch you’ve made, including the bargain cuts and creative store hunting, is not too far-fetched. A realistic and feasible budget for your holiday spending is the first logical step in your endeavors toward staying on track!

Cut back on some miscellaneous spending.

After making a perfect budget that suits you the best:

Take a good look at the final amount.
If it’s way more than how much you usually spend, consider cutting back on some of the discretionary items (like magazine subscriptions, restaurant dining, etc.) for a couple of months.
Use the money you save here toward the holidays.

Make emergency lists for everyday spending, if needed.

Holidays can be a little unpredictable. There could be many last-minute purchases you might have to make that you forget to add to the budget. Therefore, make sure you always create last-minute lists for emergencies so you’re not thrown off your budget. These are lists of every possible last-minute expense you might incur, including presents for family, friends, travel expenses, even a bottle of wine perhaps, etc.

Be a smart consumer

The holiday season comes with lots of holiday sales. If you shop smart, you could reap the benefits of it! From gift shopping to travel-related expenses (especially if you’re flying internationally this holiday), you can get great deals for all these activities. You can also wear your creative cap, make beautiful presents for some close friends, or give wonderful experiences instead of material things.

Start the budget-making from January onward.

Start right from the beginning of the year to prevent the stress of budgeting for the holidays. The added advantage of keeping aside some money right from the beginning of the year makes the accounting easier.

Make a long term plan.

Getting started on your budget early in the year always eases up the last minute planning. Once you’re done with the holidays, get started on the budget for the next year right away, even though it will be a year away from then.

Open a new holiday savings account.

Sometimes you end up saving some money from the holidays. Make sure to keep it aside in a separate account not to spend it on anything else other than holiday-related expenses.

Families cannot wait for the holidays! If holiday expenses have irritated you in the past, follow some of the above tips to stay financially afloat during the holiday season so that you can maximize the fun!